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Certified: Ram 1500 diesel (updated)

by David Zatz on

Both the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have approved the production and sale of the Ram 1500 diesel and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel.

Recently, Allpar broke the story that FCA had resumed small-batch production of the V6-diesel Rams. Last night, Automotive News predicted the imminent certification of the vehicles.

FCA and the government agencies had collaborated on resolving problems with the control systems on earlier trucks and Jeeps sold with the VM 3-liter V6 engines. The calibrations at issue appear to have been done by Bosch and a company half-owned by Volkswagen, as well as VM USA.

A version of this software will be used to update 2014-16 Jeeps and Rams with the diesel engines. The key issue was software that shut down emissions during conditions that are common for drivers, but not common on the EPA testing schedules.  FCA does not appear to have been aware of these behaviors, which conserved diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).

The company reported that fuel economy would be unaffected by the new controls; the engines will likely use more DEF, an inexpensive (if purchased at a pump) additive.

Ordering is currently closed for the 2017 Ram 1500 diesel; however, some may have been built for people who have cancelled their orders after their trucks were made, due to the long lag time. At least one dealer reported that their 2017 orders had been rolled over to 2018s. An FCA representative said that 2018 Ram 1500 diesel production was consistent with the usual new-model-year production timing, suggesting they might be made in the third quarter of 2017.

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